The creator of WGN America’s “Underground” has confirmed that efforts to save the canceled show have been futile. Misha Green, who also executive produced the critically-acclaimed series, tweeted that it won’t be back on TV “at least, not in its current iteration.”
“A lot of people have been asking me over the last few months how I feel about the shows’ cancellation and the subsequent difficulty we’ve found in finding a new network,” she wrote of the series that follows enslaved Black people as they escape in antebellum Georgia on Friday, Nov. 3. “The answer is so simple and so obvious it’s been hard for me to articulate at times — I have been and still am furious.
“For myself, for the crew who went above and beyond with means that were below and intended to constrict,” she added. “For the cast who offered a piece of their bodies and spirits to give life to forgotten voices. For everyone who watched and felt and discussed and critiqued and celebrated.”
Green went on to say that feeling furious is “nothing new” as a “Black woman living in this f—ed up world.” She then indicated that “Underground” being canceled is part of being in an America with a tense racial climate.
“But I do know ‘Underground’ was not theirs,” she said. “‘Underground’ was ours. It was, as the youth say, ‘For the culture.'”
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In response, many declared their support for Green and the show.
I’m so sad. And everything you said is so right.
Thank you for what you do ✊🏾💕#goodbyeUnderground 😫
— alyssa smith-lee (@pRncssLyssa) November 7, 2017
I just can’t receive this. It’s time we build our own and stop depending on any damn body. 😠 😭
— Mrs. Dowdy (@sddowdy) November 7, 2017
My heart is broken & upset at the same time. I feel fear of showing our strengths in history scared “others” #bringitback
— Vanessa Russell (@iamthefitchick) November 7, 2017
I stand with you, sis!
— Desiree (@dewifeandmother) November 7, 2017
Yet Green’s remarks aren’t far off. In September, executive producer John Legend wrote a lengthy statement disapproving of the political turmoil boiling over at the time with the Charlottesville, Va., protests, and battles taking place over Confederate monuments.
“In its first two seasons, Underground was undeniably a hit series,” he said, “setting ratings records for WGN America, receiving rave reviews and sparking conversation in the media. WGN America was bought by media conglomerate Sinclair Communications. Sinclair has pursued a strategy of buying up local networks and moving their news coverage to fit their far-right agenda. In addition, they’ve bought Tribune Media, the parent company of WGN America and immediately turned away from high-quality original dramas such as Underground and Outsiders in favor of cheaper unscripted entertainment.”
— John Legend (@johnlegend) September 27, 2017
The singer said all involved were committed to creating a future for the series and urged fans to #SaveUnderground. Legend’s tweet came months after Oprah Winfrey dashed fans’ hopes that her OWN network would pick up the series, saying it was too expensive to produce at $5 million an episode.